Avalanche condtions

Know before you go.

Good gear, stay warm, always check avalanche conditions
photo/J Ferris

Anyone who ventures into the snowy back county on a regular basis knows that all snow is different. Each day is different. They also know that avalanche conditions vary from day to day and place to place. It’s the reason they check the Sierra Avalanche Center website before they head out there. Snow in the mountains means avalanches are possible, always.

This year the snow in this part of the Sierra is very deep. Over 50 feet has fallen on the highest parts of the high country since the snow started falling last November. Ski resorts are reporting around that much at their summits. The storms have come in on a regular basis, and so have the avalanches. It’s just plain nuts to ignore the conditions while skiing or riding in the back country.

About two weeks ago a skier on Mt. Tallac heading down The Cross triggered an avalanche that took him 800 feet down slope. According to the Sierra Avalanche Center “A skier triggered avalanche was reported at the trailhead of Mt. Tallac this afternoon.  The avalanche occurred in The Cross, a steep couloir off of the main summit of Mt. Tallac.  The avalanche occurred at 12:30pm.  The main entrance into the Cross had been skied by approximately 8 people at around 11am with some minor loose wet activity observed.  At 12:30pm, a group of 2 skiers went to the top to descend the skiers left entrance, on an east aspect.  As the first skier made several turns into the slope, the slope released a slab avalanche.  The skier was carried approximately 800′ downslope past trees and over rocks with the avalanche debris continuing to run downslope further. Injuries were reported with a broken ski and lost equipment.”

The skier survived, at least as of this writing. He’s lucky. Survival rates aren’t good at all for those caught in avalanches. It’s important to understand that avalanches are largely unpredictable, even with the best and most professional observations of the snow conditions. They aren’t controllable either. Once they start, they simply roar down slope till they run out of energy, mostly taking out anything in their path.

Know before you go, always. Stay safe in this year’s wonderfully snow back country.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Mt. Rose close to 700 inches

Heading down the Chutes at Mt. Rose

Hitting the Chutes at Mt. Rose.
Photo courtesy of Curle Seamus/Mt. Rose PR

Jessica VanPernis Weaver, of JVP Communications in North Lake Tahoe, commented on the total snowfall at Mt. Rose so far this season. It’s just about over the 700 inch mark. For the math challenged, that’s 57.58 feet since the snow started falling last November. It’s a record snow total for the resort.

That doesn’t mean that you’ll walk into a wall of snow that high. There’s always some snowmelt and settlement, but that number is what has been recorded up there. Awesome just mildly begins to express that number.

As a result, VanPernis Weaver said in her press release last week, “…Winter is far from over in the Northern Sierra, as another series of storms have moved through the region this week leaving another 13 inches of fresh snow on top of Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe’s nearly 18-foot base, and the National Weather Service forecast calling for more snow through the weekend.”

She also said the the Rose plans to keep lifts turning through Memorial Day, May 31, 2017. That makes for a long season for anyone who skis or rides. What a difference from the last few years!

Mike Pierce, director of marketing at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe had this to say, “This season just won’t quit, and we can’t say we’re not happy about it. The conditions have been phenomenal, and by purchasing our Spring Plus pass you can ski or ride the rest of this season—with more than two months left—plus all of the 2017-18 winter season.”

This is the run down on the passes available now at Mt. Rose, from Pierce, “Valid seven days per week with no blackouts this season or next, the Spring Plus Premier Pass offers incredible value for those who want the flexibility of being able to ski any day of the season. The Spring Plus Premier Pass is available for $695 for adults ages 24+, $495 for young adults ages 16-23, and $395 for children ages 6-15. The Spring Plus Midweek Pass is valid Monday through Friday, excluding December 25-29, 2017, January 15, 2018 and February 19, 2018, and is priced at $595 for any age.”

Those season passes include passholder perks such as First Tracks daily on the Blazing Zephyr 6 chairlift, discounts on buddy tickets, lessons, on-mountain food and beverage, retail and repair.

“With more than two months of the season still ahead, and the snow as deep as it is, conditions are going to continue to be really fun. It’s not every season that we’re open for seven months of the year. This truly has been a remarkable winter,” continued Pierce.

No matter where your ski in Tahoe this year, the story is much the same. Lots of snow, an understatement of huge proportions. Extended season all over. Phenomenal conditions for everyone.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Season Extended

buried in snow SAT sign

The SAT sign at Hwy 50, buried
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

Skiing season just got extended. All that snow, and what is falling now, has added up to more than a epic fall and winter on the trails. The season has also been extended. Thea Hardy, Public Relations at Sierra-at-Tahoe, has announced that their season will run through to April 23. That’s good news for anyone who counts Sierra as home base for skiing and riding.

Sierra traditionally follows the last official day with Customer Appreciation Day. It will be on Monday, April 24, 2017. This day is dedicated to “…reminiscing about the plentiful powder days with high fives in celebration of another awesome season,” said Hardy.

Skiers and riders of all ages can purchase a lift ticket for only $35 on April 24, 2017. Lift ticket proceeds on Customer Appreciation Day will benefit youth recreation and education including baseball, soccer, swimming and other youth activities in South Lake Tahoe. Sierra-at-Tahoe is a dedicated supporter of youth sports and the South Lake Tahoe community in general.

John Rice, Sierra’s long time General Manger put it this way: “With 537 inches of natural snowfall and counting, this season has truly been one for the books. Customer Appreciation Day is all about saying thank you. We want to show our most loyal guests that we value this community and are willing to support year round recreational opportunities for our kids.”

The resort  will operate a limited number of lifts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. including Grandview Express and Easy Rider Express. All guests are invited to join John Rice and the rest of Sierra’s team for the official “last run of the season” from the top of Grandview Express beginning at 2 p.m. This last run is arguably the best run of the season. The resort staff and guests simply have a magical time heading to the base to close out the season. Last call at the Sierra Pub will be 2:45 p.m., in time for the ending of all winter operations at 3 p.m. Take advantage of a wonderful last day for this season at Sierra.

Skiing in powder at SAT

Powder day at SAT March 2017
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR

Read to ski

Groomed and ready at SAT Photo courtesy of Thea Hardy, SAT PR

Close to getting on the lift

Heading for the ride up the mountain at SAT
Photo courtesy of David Amirault/SAT PR

Posted in families, Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Squaw Valley World Cup

New snow at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley
Photo Courtesy of Squaw/Alpine PR/JT Connery

Liesl Kenney, Public Relations Director at Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, recently sent out a press release detailing the upcoming FIS World Cup at Squaw Valley. The event takes place over four days from March 9 to 12. Those four days are filled up with skiing and other events at the resort.

This is a world class competition that draws large crowds who are intensely focused on the top skiers in the world who are competing. “Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is proud to host the Audi FIS World Cup. This marks the return of World Cup ski racing to California for the first time in 19 years. Events held will consist of a Women’s Giant Slalom on Friday, March 10 and Women’s Slalom on Saturday, March 11. Olympic champions like Mikaela Shiffrin will compete on the legendary Red Dog run, which also played host to the 1969 World Cup and 1960 Winter Olympics. For more information on the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Squaw Valley,” said Kenney.

The resort is offering quite an array of transportation opportunities for anyone who wants to attend. It’s best to take advantage of one of options available, as it will be crowded. Here is what Kenny said regarding transportation–it’s a long list:

” As the 2017 Audi FIS Ski World Cup at Squaw Valley rapidly approaches with four days of events from March 9 – 12, guests and ski racing fans are encouraged to arrive early and take advantage of easy and stress-free options to get to and from the race venue at Squaw Valley. With the addition of premium bus service to and from both Truckee and Tahoe City, all Squaw Valley ground transportation will drop off and pick up at the Shuttle stop near Member’s Locker Room. The Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows App will provide transportation notifications during the World Cup events as well as World Cup information including event schedules, athlete bios, course information and real-time race results. In addition, the World Cup Transportation page will host the most up-to-date information on getting to and from the World Cup.

Premium Coach Bus Service from Truckee & Tahoe City
Guests travelling through or from Truckee and Tahoe City can park their cars and forget about driving: Premium 48-passenger Amador Stage Lines buses will run regularly between Squaw Valley and Truckee Tahoe Airport as well as between Squaw Valley and the Tahoe City Transit Center at 64 Acres, providing a comfortable ride with plenty of space for ski gear below decks. Availability will be offered on a first come, first served basis and headways will be subject to traffic conditions.

Truckee Tahoe Airport — 10356 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, CA 96161. Four buses will run round trip between Squaw Valley and Truckee Tahoe Airport, departing every fifteen minutes between 6am and 7am, and every half hour from 7am — 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. Parking will be available at South Lot Truckee Tahoe Airport Event Parking, adjacent to the bus pick up/drop off.

•    6:00am : 1st Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:15am : 2nd Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:30am : 3rd Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    6:45am : 4th Bus departs Truckee Tahoe Airport
•    7:00am : Buses run a continuous roundtrip between Truckee Tahoe Airport and Squaw Valley departing each location approximately every 30 minutes
•    9:30pm : Last bus departs from Squaw Valley to Truckee Tahoe Airport

Tahoe City Transit Center — 165 West Lake Boulevard, South of Fanny Bridge and the Y, Tahoe City, CA 96145. Two buses will run round trip between the Tahoe City Transit Center and Squaw Valley every thirty minutes between 6am and 7am, and every hour from 7am — 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. Parking will be available at the Tahoe Area Regional Transit (TART) event overflow parking, adjacent to the bus pick up/drop off.

•    6:00am : 1st Bus departs Tahoe City Transit Center
•    6:30am : 2nd Bus departs Tahoe City Transit Center
•    7:00am : Buses run a continuous roundtrip between Tahoe City Transit Center and Squaw Valley departing each location approximately every 60 minutes
•    9:30pm : Last bus departs from Squaw Valley to Tahoe City Transit Center

POW Carpool Parking for Vehicles with 4+ Passengers
To reduce congestion on the roads, guests visiting Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows between March 9 and March 12 are encouraged to carpool to the resort and take advantage of free premium Protect Our Winters (POW) Parking for vehicles with four or more passengers: close-in parking at both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows is available on a first come, first served basis. The POW Parking program aligns with the resort’s mission to reduce its carbon footprint, raise awareness about how transportation contributes to climate change, and promote carpooling and efficient transportation within the region.

Transportation from Resort at Squaw Creek
Guests staying at the Resort at Squaw Creek will have access to the Resort at Squaw Creek Shuttle running to and from Squaw Valley every 15 minutes from 7:30am to 11pm. Additional shuttle service will be provided during the World Cup, operating 7:30am – 5:30pm on March 8 & 9 and 6:00am – 9:30 pm on March 10 & 11. As the Squaw Creek chairlift will be closed to the public March 8-11, additional round trip on-snow transportation will be offered every 15 minutes between the base station of the Squaw Creek chair and the SnoVentures Adventure Zone/Far East Express area, 7:30am – 5:30pm.

Squaw Alpine Express and SnoVentures Shuttle
The Squaw Alpine Express shuttle will run as normal between Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, running between the two mountains every 20-30 minutes 8:30am – 4:30pm. The SnoVentures shuttle will run as normal between The Village at Squaw Valley (Member’s Locker Room) and SnoVentures Activity Zone, 9am-4:15pm on weekdays and 8:15am-4:15pm weekends and holidays. Click here for more information on Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows free shuttles.

Limited Additional Parking

Limited additional day-use parking will be available at Deer Park, located at the base of Alpine Meadows Road. Shuttle service will operate between Deer Park and Alpine Meadows as well as between Deer Park and Squaw Valley. Two additional shuttles will service Deer Park for service to Squaw Valley from 6am – 9:30pm on March 10 & 11.

Volunteer Parking
Volunteer Parking will be available only for vehicles with a Volunteer Parking tag at Hidden Valley, located across Highway 89 from River Ranch at the base of Alpine Meadows Road. Shuttles will service this area from 6am – 9:30pm on March 10 & 11. To apply to be a World Cup volunteer, click here.

Additional Transportation Options
•    Amtrak: Avoid traffic and take Amtrak to Truckee for your World Cup weekend. Amtrak offers a convenient and enjoyable travel option from the Bay Area, with comfortable seating as spacious as first class airline seats, outlets to charge your phone, and casual and formal dining options. Relax and enjoy the spectacular views as you wind your way up the mountain. Easily connect to the California Zephyr with daily departures from Emeryville, Richmond, Martinez and Sacramento to Truckee. From the Truckee Amtrak Station use public or private transportation to get to your final destination.
•    Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit (TART)
•    Uber and UberX
•    Tahoe Sierra Transportation — Mention World Cup for an event discount.

Lift Operations during the World Cup & Preparation
Squaw Creek and Red Dog chairlifts will be closed to the public today, Tuesday, February 28 and from Wednesday, March 8 through Saturday, March 11 for race preparation and team access. Supplemental shuttles will run between Resort at Squaw Creek and Squaw Valley on these dates.

What Not to Bring to the World Cup
The items below will not be allowed in the World Cup venue and spectators must leave any prohibited items at home. All bags are subject to search. Remember, if you are taking shuttles to and from Squaw Valley, please leave all prohibited items in your car before getting on the shuttle.

•    Weapons
•    Outside Alcohol
•    Illegal Substances and/or paraphernalia
•    Glass of any kind
•    Coolers
•    Flasks
•    Chairs
•    Laser Pointers
•    Drones
•    Only service animals will be permitted in the grandstands and bleachers
•    Tobacco permitted in designated smoking areas only ”

Make plans now for lodging and travel. You’ll want to arrive early and stay late. If you intend to stay for more than one day, book your rooms now. It’s quite a show.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Freeride World Quals at Sierra-at-Tahoe

Skier launching in Huckleberry Canyon during Huck Cup at Sierra-at-Tahoe

Huck Cup Sierra-at-Tahoe
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

Thea Hardy, Public Relations at Sierra-at-Tahoe, announced the 2d annual Freeride World Tour Qualifying at Sierra-at-Tahoe. The event will be held March 3 and 4, with all of the runs launching in the stunning Huckleberry Canyon at Sierra. It’s known throughout the ski world as the Huck Cup.

“The Freeride World Tour is a worldwide circuit of freeride skiing and snowboarding events where athletes compete on legendary and challenging terrain at the most renowned resorts around the world. The event will take place in Huckleberry Canyon, 320 acres of backcountry terrain accessed by five gates at the summit of Sierra-at-Tahoe,” according to Hardy.

“Sierra is the only Lake Tahoe resort to host a 2-Star Freeride World Qualifying event this year. The scope of the terrain in Huckleberry Canyon creates an ideal place for skiers and snowborders to compete and earn qualifying points for the Swatch Freeride World Tour” according to Hardy.

Freeride World Tour Americas Manager, Tom Winter, is enthusiastic about Sierra’s event. “Huckleberry Canyon is a great venue for a 2-Star event. It has a wide variety of lines, easy access and fantastic opportunities for spectators to watch all the action and cheer all of their friends. We’re really pleased with the partnership and this is an event that we expect will be part of the FWQ for a long, long time.” He knows the terrain and the quality of operations at Sierra.

Competitors will be vying for a $3,000 cash purse. Athletes must be licensed to compete in the Freeride World Tour and can register for the Huck Cup online here. Spectators must have a valid lift ticket to enter the viewing area. Hardy gave a shout out the sponsors of the event, Subaru, Oakley, Lake Tahoe Television, Vapur and BlackStrap Indusries Inc. who are making this event possible.

The skiers and riders who launch themselves into Huckleberry Canyon during this event put on quite a display of talent. It also gives other riders and skiers a close up look at the stunning terrain there, and what it takes to successfully carve turns there.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

More snow, rain, and ski resort events

Happy Skiers in a group

Happy Skiers!
Photo courtesy of Sierra-at-Tahoe PR

First, take a look at this YouTube video. These guys are the real deal, and yes, they really did do that much skiing and boarding in the backcountry in one day. Stunning.

Snow, anyone? Rain? You’re in the right place if you are in the Sierra around Tahoe. We are looking at another 7 days of snow and rain around here. Adding to the snow pack is always good, and it is now at 194% of average for this time of year. We have a long ways to go before the snow is over.

While there have been road closures on Highways 80 and 50 and State Routes 88 and 89, as of today everything is open. The roads will most likely be clogged with cars starting sometime tomorrow and running through Monday. It’s a 3 day weekend.

In case you missed it, Sierra-at-Tahoe in partnership with The Barton Foundation in Tahoe is just about at the end of its annual Snowsports Week, which benefits local South Lake Tahoe Youth and Community efforts. According to Thea Hardy, Communications Director at Sierra,  lift tickets will be sold for $50 at over 20 locations. Proceeds will benefit The Barton Foundation, Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation, Lake Tahoe Education Foundation, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care and Sierra-at-Tahoe Education Foundation.

 “Skiing and snowboarding is the heart and soul of this community,” says General Manager, John Rice. “We want to express our deepest gratitude and give back to our locals who continue to uplift the sport and are instrumental in preserving Lake Tahoe as a thriving ski destination.”

You have one day left to take advantage of this fantastic price on lift tickets.  These specially priced tickets must be purchased in advance at bartonhealth.org/snowsports or participating locations. Here’s the list:

• All Powder House locations
• Sports LTD (Village Shopping Center)
• Raley’s (Village Shopping Center)
• Powder House – Pioneer Trail
• Rainbow Mountain Sports
• The Rock House Sports
• George’s Ski & Snowboard
• Grocery Outlet
• The Ski Renter
• South Tahoe Ski and Board
• CVS at Bijou Center
• Lake Tahoe Community College Bookstore
and Foundation Office
• Knight’s Inn
• Barton Foundation
• Raley’s at the “Y”
• CVS at the “Y”
• Tahoe Paradise Chevron
• Lira’s Market
• Sunrise Ski Shop
• The Ski Renter in Strawberry (Twin Bridges)
• Strawberry Market (Twin Bridges)
• Fresh Pond Trading Post (Pollock Pines)
• Crystal View Station (Pollock Pines)
• Wine Country Chevron Station (Camino)
Credit card sales available through: Barton Foundation,
LTCC Foundation, The Ski Renter
Tickets valid only Feb. 13 -16, 2017
They will not be sold at Sierra-at-Tahoe.
No will call. 24-hour sales available
These tickets will not be sold at Sierra-at-Tahoe. While they’ve been available all week, by now each ticket is valid only for Friday, February 16, 2017. Remember, tomorrow is the last day to ski for $50. It’s the best price for a day of skiing at Sierra this year.

In other ski news, Liesl Kenney, Director of Communications at Squaw/Alpine, said that their 8th annual Kid-O-Rama extravaganza returns to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows this President’s Day weekend from February 18-25. This family-friendly resort tradition features popular events like Big Truck Day, where kids can ride along in fire trucks, snowplows, and grooming machines, live kid-friendly music, an all-kid game an craft room, a Farm to Table Dinner + Movie, a Moonlit Snowshoe Tour + Dinner and more. Click here for a full lineup of events. It’s a true child oriented event. The smiles and laughter of the children will bring joy to everyone at the resorts. Bring you camera, full battery and empty memory card–you’ll need it.

Jessica VanPernis Weaver, of JVP Communications in North Lake Tahoe, sent out word that Homewood Mountain Resort has some pretty good deals going too. According to VanPernis Weaver, “Homewood offers the best value on daily lift tickets, with prices starting as low as $49 when purchased online in advance. In addition, lift ticket 3-Packs are also available for advance purchase for $66 per day. These non-transferrable lift tickets can be used by one person any three days of the 2016-17 season with no restrictions.

For those just starting out, the resort offers a $59 first-time adult ski and snowboard package that makes it incredibly affordable to learn to ski or ride. Valid Sunday through Friday, non-holiday, this package includes a half-day lesson, all-day rental equipment and lift ticket accessing beginner terrain. The Learn to ski/ride 3-pack extends the $59 lesson package for two additional days at the same daily rate, and adds in Homewood’s Learn to ski/ride guarantee—participants will be skiing or riding down one of the resort’s signature upper mountain beginner runs by the third day or the fourth day is free.”
Keep in mind that all the skiing in the Tahoe area is on a record pace snow pack (Homewood’s count: 88 inches at the base area to 191 inches on the upper mountain), with half the snow season left. It simply hasn’t been like this since the winter of 2010-2011. Take advantage of it.

Posted in Outdoor Recreation, ski resorts, skiing

Tahoe snowpack at 191%

New snow at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley snow Jan. 2017
Photo Courtesy of Squaw/Alpine PR/JT Connery

As the snow keeping falling, the snowpack just keeps getting deeper. Overall, the snow on our part of the Sierra is at 173% of normal. Tahoe’s is at a whopping 193%. With February and March typically adding to the count, this could be one of those years that will be talked about for a long time.

The resorts are keeping busy just staying open. When the storms are too rowdy, too much wind coupled with a heavy snowfall, they either shut down or curtail operations. Not only that, the sheer volume of snow presents issues. John Rice, longtime General Manager at Sierra-at-Tahoe said it quite well: “There’s a point where you start running out of places to push the snow.” It really does become a problem. The time and equipment needed to keep the parking lots and the lodge areas clear of snow is significant.

Any of the resorts that have to clear the roads leading into their area have a fairly big job on their hands. When CalTrans, Nevada DOT, or the county is doing the work the resorts concentrate on other things. When the resorts are doing it, the big pieces of snow removal equipment put in a lot of hours so that skiers can get to their trails.  It’s a good problem to have, although it is an expensive and time-consuming one. Better this than the drought.

Backcountry skiers, riders, and snowshoer’s have different issues to deal with. The biggest one is avalanche danger. The Sierra Avalanche Center issues its observations every day by 7:00 a.m. Anytime the advisory is above “low”, the backcountry terrain is at heightened danger for either skier caused or natural avalanches. Anyone who ventures out into the high backcountry absolutely needs to check the Sierra Avalanche Center for current information before heading out.

For daily information about all the resorts in our part of the Sierra, Curtis Fong’s Bike and Ski Tahoe is the best site for up to date info at all of them. With this much snow the season is likely to extend well into spring. Squaw Valley typically earns bragging rights for staying open longer than anyone else.

This year may be quite a contest. One of the catch 22’s is that even with great spring skiing, once the sun pops out in the valley and Bay Area, thoughts of skiing start to take a back seat to other outdoor opportunities. Still, for skiing and riding fanatics, no season is ever long enough.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Snow and lot of it


Snowmegedon at Mt. Rose Photo courtesy of Mt. Rose PR

Recent storms made for a stunning 3 day weekend at area resorts over the MLK holiday. Added to that is this next series of storms that are again adding multiple feet to the Sierra snowpack. The new snows at the resorts are topping 10 or more feet. By the end of this series of storms, that’s like to move to well over 15 feet of new snow.

Along with the additional snow, the resorts have been dealing with wind and avalanche conditions. The resorts shut down when the storms bring big winds and white out conditions. Avalanche dangers have to be mitigated. The highways also shut down. All in all though these storms are welcomed all around.

Before heading up to your favorite resort, check the CalTrans site for road conditions first. Next up is the resorts website to find out if they are open, and if so, what runs are available. Make sure that you know what to expect when you head out.

The most busy times are weekends, with holiday weekends taking the prize for most crowded. Weekdays tend to be less busy, but with this years snows, that may not always be the case.

Enjoy this new snow. Powder days are here, and winter is giving us all exactly what we’ve been hoping for. Take your time driving to your favorite resort. Pay attention to the conditions and cautions once you get there.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Alpenglow backcountry demo event

xc demo days Alpenglow

Alpenglow Backcountry Demo Days
Photo courtesy of Alpenglow Sports

Alpenglow Sports in Tahoe City has announced their 11th annual Lake Tahoe Backcountry Demo Event. The event is held at Alpine Meadows and will take place on Saturday, January 21. Everything kicks off at 9:00 a.m. and will wrap up at 3:00 p.m.

According to their press release, this is North America’s largest venue for all things alpine touring, Telemark and splitboard. It’s a pretty inclusive backcountry menu of gear and techniques.

Alpenglow, which has been leading in the outdoor recreation realm in Tahoe City for the last 30 years, partners with Alpine Meadows to offer this event to the public. It is the “largest and most well known backcountry event in North America.” Alpine Meadows is a perfect place for the event. The terrain, from beginner to uber advanced, provides some areas for all levels of skiers and riders.

Participating vendors. according to Alpenglow, will include DPS, Black Crows, Dynafit, Blizzard, Tecnica, G3, Scarpa, Salomon, Scott, Marker, Volkl, Twenty-Two Designs, Voile, Moment, Julbo, Fly Low, and Jones Snowboards. Additionally, the exotic and revolutionary Meidjo Telemark binding will be on hand to try as well.

While the event itself is free, participants must possess a valid lift ticket or season pass purchased from Alpine Meadows or Squaw Valley USA, along with a driver’s license and credit card for deposit. Registration for the event will occur onsite at the Alpenglow Sports tent on January 21st. Call 530.583.6917 with questions. If you live up that way just head over to the shop.

Posted in Lake Tahoe, Outdoor Recreation, outside treks, ski resorts, skiing, snow

Rain, snow, wind, avalanches

New snow Mt. Rose

Mt. Rose with new snow
Photo courtesy of Mt. Rose PR

It’s time to pay attention to the advisories on the Sierra Avalanche Center website. The advisory today, Sunday January 8, simply put, says to stay out of the mountains and the backcountry. The avalanche danger is rated as extreme. That kind of rating isn’t very common or issued lightly. Here is what it says, ”

“Natural and human triggered avalanches are certain today due to the significant amount of rain on snow expected below 9300 ft. and heavy wet snow loading above 9000 ft. Large, deep, destructive wet slab, deep slab, and wind slab avalanches will occur today as well as loose wet avalanches. Avalanches could run farther than expected and involve almost the entire snowpack. Avoid travel in or near avalanche terrain or runout zones. EXTREME avalanche danger exists at all elevations.”

That should be loud and clear to everyone. Check their site before you head to the backcounty. These conditions may continue for a while. Know before you go is a mantra on their site, and it’s more than a catchy phrase. That knowledge and a large dose of common sense and good judgement are what may keep you safe out there.

The storm today caused most of the ski resorts to shut down. The few that were open had limited operations. Curtis Fong’s website, Bike and Ski Tahoe, lists all the resorts and the daily conditions all around the Tahoe area.

Over the last few storms, quite a lot of snow fell. Jessica VanPernis Weaver, of JVP Communications, sent out a press release noting that Sugar BowlRoyal Gorge clocked 7 feet of fresh snow. That’s on top of the 201 inches of snow season-to-date, and current base depths averaging 56-81 inches. She also noted that Mt. Rose added 5 feet or more of powder last week.

Liesl Kenney, Public Relations Director at Squaw/Alpine, noted that they have had over 7 feet of new snow at the resorts. Additionally, she said, “Over the past 45 years, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ January snowfall has averaged 70 inches. With 84 inches in the first five days of 2017, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is already at 120% of the January average. The resort’s record snowfall for the month of January came during the 1981-82 season with 175 inches. In the first five days of January 2017, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has received 48% of that accumulation and is anticipating additional snowfall over the coming weeks.”

Other resorts are reporting great snow amounts as well. There are more storms, colder ones, that are predicted for the coming week. Check road and resort conditions before heading to your favorite resort.

New snow at Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley snow Jan. 2017
Photo Courtesy of Squaw/Alpine PR/JT Connery

Posted in Lake Tahoe, ski resorts, skiing, snow